Nicola Sturgeon vows to stay in office until 2026 – 'I'm going to be around a lot longer'

The First Minister of Scotland said her opponents are hoping she will quit soon. She believes support for an independent Scotland is stronger than ever

Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed speculation about her future insisting she will serve until at least 2026.

Ahead of the the SNP ’s conference this weekend, the First Minister of Scotland accused her opponents of “wishful thinking” and “crossing their fingers and hoping I’ll remove myself from office”.

Ms Sturgeon, now 51, has been in office for almost seven years.

While she said she has no intentions of going anywhere “right now”, she said she wants to be young when contemplating life after politics.

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC ’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg: “Look, I’m not a robot. I have no intentions of going anywhere right now as First Minister, but I hope I’ll still be relatively young when I get to the point of contemplating other things.”

She added: “No matter how much my opponents and sections of the media might wish it to be the case.

“I am not to intending to stand down any time soon as First Minister. I’m enjoying the job. It’s a challenging job, particularly just now, and I’m looking forward to the next five years ahead.

“They are going to be disappointed because I’m going around a lot longer than they might wish me to be”.

The First Minister also denied that support for independence had faded even though polling has shown support for independence has been slipping.

In 2023, if permitted, Ms Sturgeon plans to hold a referendum once Covid has eased.

“My duty, the duty of any leader of any country right now, is to navigate our way through this pandemic,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“Scotland is again contemplating the best future for the country, we’re doing that not in the shadow of a pandemic that is taking and has taken too many lives.

“But as we are recovering from that and turning our minds to the positive, optimistic task of how do we build a better country, how do we build a fair, more equal, more prosperous country for the future.

“And that means for Scotland getting to choose who’s making these decisions, not having somebody like Boris Johnson imposed on us and deciding for ourselves.”

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